The Hacker: The magician to conjure up when chips are down is Pelz

My short game has long been an object of derision. One professional actually gaveme my money back after a chipping lesson. He said I was worse at the end of it than I had been before. That hurt. I can take criticism and have learned to cope with the mockery, but I cannot stand pity.

My work with the wedge has improved slightly but there is a long way to go. It is more of a mental problem than one of technique so the battle is within, but it is a battle I am determined to win.

Every hacker should consider joining in, because the clear message from Royal Birkdale this weekend is that the short game holds the key to solving some of our miseries.

Top pros have long been susceptible to a bit of guru worship and the latest coaching fashion is to concentrate on pitching and chipping.

Lee Westwood's recent improvement has been linked to the close-in coaching he has been receiving from the former Tour pro Mark Roe. Roe has discovered the knack of sorting out the short game for players and charges £300 an hour, plus VAT, for his services. Don't bother to try to get a quick 10 minutes from him. He onlydoes a minimum of a three-hour lesson.

I don't know how much Stan Utley charges, but the former US Tour pro is credited with a major contribution to Sergio Garcia's big improvement around the green.

The daddy of all the short-game magicians is Dave Pelz, who has been at it for years. His most successful pupil is Phil Mickelson, who was desperate to win a major when he engaged Pelz in 2003. Since then he has won three.

Pelz is an ex-Nasa physicist who has brought a scientific mind to how to play the final 60 yards of a hole, where 80 per cent of your strokes are taken. He has a string of short-game schools around the US. I've been to one at Boca Raton in Florida and it's very impressive. The week before last he opened his first school in Europe, and I was lucky enough to have some tuition not only from the man himself but from his team of instructors, who included his son Eddie.

The school is situated in the new Killeen Castle golf complex in Co Meath, which contains a superb Jack Nicklaus-designed course. The facilities are already first-class and they are in the process of building a luxury hotel around the recently refurbished castle.

The Pelz school occupies 11 acres and they offer clinics of one, two or three days. These are conducted very thoroughly, with a frank appraisal givenat the end.

I cannot say yet what effect Pelz's lessons are going to have, because through being at the Open I haven't had chance yet to put them into practice, but I shall be reporting my progress.

My son was with me at Killeen Castle, and while we were having a drink withEddie Pelz, my son said tohim: "Eddie, you and I have something in common. You are the son of the best chipper in the world and I am the son of the worst."

That may give you some idea of the size of the task.

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month